Look! A white lady pointing!
The lady is Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges. The blurred out face is Navell Gordon.
This is the controversial story (HERE).
Quite honestly, it is now IMPOSSIBLE to try to read deep enough to find any semblance of “truth” as to why this has exploded in the media. Those to the “left” are posting thousands of pictures of people pointing and making fun of all these “gang” signs. The report from KSTP in Minneapolis was about the police union being up in arms because to them it was a blatant gang sign.
But in reading this article, I honestly don’t think it’s as much about the gang sign as it is the person the mayor was hanging with in the picture.
Gordon, 22, has faced criminal charges for drug and firearm possession. He said in an interview he has been trying to straighten out his life while working for Neighborhoods Organizing for Change the past two years. “I was actually blessed to even be with the mayor,” Gordon said. “But yes, we are pointing at each other.”
It’s a young man with a record. It’s a young man the police have tangled with in the past.
It’s a young man the mayor was hanging with believing this was a young man on a road to change.
The question really comes down to this: Do we TRULY believe in change… or not?
Was it a “super secret” signal the young man was giving to “fellow gang members” to let them know it’s okay to do… something… but whole in the world knows what?
OR… was it two people out doing some work for the election and they were taking a picture?
These are incredibly hard questions. We have the “law and order” side of us that is alerted when we see potential problems. We have a “compassion” side to us (I hope) that says, “Hey, let’s give someone a new chance here.”
And when they collide, it’s hard to sort out.
And, in all candor and honesty on my own part (as a WHITE MAN), does the fact that the mayor is taking this picture with a black man play into the alarm as well? In other words, and again this is in all honesty as a WHITE MAN, if she was posing with a 22 year old white man with a past record… you can finish that one.
I ONLY ask that because I have to examine myself as well.
Can it all come back to “bite” the mayor? If this young man has a run in with the law in the near future, you better believe it.
Has the mayor risked? I think so. Has she risked foolishly?
I run that risk in my own life as I try to do SOMETHING to help people. Mentoring kids. Having kids in my house… it ALL has the possibility of backfiring. Do I quit?
My parents modeled this to me growing up. We had all kinds of people live with us who were down on their luck. My dad would hire “marginal” guys in his store to try and help them out, and a few ripped him off.
But it never stopped them from helping the next person.
At some point we need to risk. We need to walk with someone trying to get their life back together and run the risk of being misunderstood.
Do I agree with our mayor politically? On most things… no. But I DO applaud her for walking the streets with someone who is trying to get his life back together… and POINTING at him.